Port Elizabeth - Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said on Thursday that the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Nelson Mandela Bay were in an alliance which hindered service delivery to the poor and that the parties intentionally collapsed the meeting because they realised they were out numbered.
Maimane was speaking outside a Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting which up until 2pm had seen no progress and came to a standstill with Speaker Jonathan Lawack walking out of chambers on three occasions.
Several motions including a motion of no confidence in Mayor Athol Trollip was meant to be tabled but the special council meeting essentially collapsed.
The DA wanted to go ahead and vote on the motions but the opposition refused arguing that a 14 day postponement was agreed upon with Lawack.
“What was very clear today, as an act of chaos and to return corruption and a racist agenda it became very clear that the ANC did not have the numbers and the EFF -otherwise why would they buster their own motions?” Maimane asked.
“Furthermore they want to delay the passing of the adjustment budget which means it will have a direct impact on poor South African’s living in this city.”
If the adjustment budget is not passed at council on Thursday, this would mean that City Manager Johan Mettler would have to terminate the services of 460 security guards employed by the municipality.
“I must terminate their services as any expenditure post 1 April will be unauthorised. By law, I am prohibited from knowingly incurring unauthorised expenditure," Mettler told ANA.
Scenes of chaos and instability played out in council chambers and councillors were either shouting over one another or singing .
By 3:30pm not one item on the agenda had been dealt with.
Meanwhile, the ANC also held a press conference on Thursday with ANC Head of Elections Fikile Mbalula telling reporters that the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay were not interested in a position for mayor.
“We did not win an out right majority and for us to make a difference in the lives of our people we need majority governance in the metro,” said Mbalula.
Mbalula said that the the DA-lead coalition had collapsed and were clearly only interested in positions.
“This coalition does not work, it’s a disaster it’s a mess and the metro has gone backwards,” Mbalula said.
In a statement the ANC denied claims that it had intentionally collapsed the meeting.
“The Speaker of Council has changed the order paper for today's council meeting which itemised to first deal with motion of no confidence to the Speaker himself without notifying Party Whips as per Rules of Order."
The ANC and other opposition parties objected to that decision as they felt undermined.
Most importantly the political parties requested for an adjournment to caucus and allow the Speaker to engage Party Whips, which he agreed.
But he failed to coordinate engagements with Party Whips hence the deadlock.”
African News Agency/ANA